The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has signed a contract worth around $66m with China HYWAY Group for upgrading 130km of Ethiopian road.

The road linking Gedu to Nekemt is designed to mitigate transportation problems in Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regions, while providing a faster route from Ethiopia to Sudan, according to the Ethiopian Roads Authority.

The 7m-wide improved road will be made using concrete gravel asphalt and will have a 0.5m-wide shoulder on each side.

The project also includes construction of a 64km stretch that will lead to Nekemt.

The project is expected to begin in September 2009 and work will be carried out over two and half years.

The road extension project is a part of National Road Sector Development Programme.